Rejoice In Your Trials

Rejoice In Your Trials

In our current series of articles, I am sharing some of the lessons God has been teaching me in recent years. One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned after more than 50 years as a Christian is that we are to rejoice in our trials and weaknesses, knowing that as we deal with them, God will graciously help us to overcome them. As He does so, He will use those trials and weaknesses to give us more joy and grace—and to enable us to help others!

We see clearly in the passage below that the apostle Paul suffered from some great weakness that tormented him. He pleaded for God to remove it, but God told him that instead of taking away the trial, He would graciously give Paul the grace to thrive in the midst of it and to bring God glory through it. Paul shares that he learned to gladly boast in his weaknesses and difficulties, knowing that God, through Christ, would give him the strength he needed.  

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”   (2 Corinthians 12:7–10)

As God taught Paul, so He has taught me that in my weaknesses and hardships, He is graciously with me. I used to remember the faces and names of the people around me, but in recent years I have had some memory loss. Now, I often do not recognize as many of the faces that I used to, especially of new people I meet. God has used this trial to teach me that I can still be caring and loving towards others even though I may not remember their names. When I do forget and I have to ask someone for their name, I always tell them that me not remembering doesn’t mean I don’t care for them or want to be loving, close, and encouraging to them—I just have memory loss. Their response to my explanation is always very positive, and my honesty helps us feel closer to each other—God uses the weakness of my memory loss to bless them and me as well!

Another challenge I have is no longer living near all of my grown children, who now have their own families and homes. God has taught me in this season to seek to remain loving to them, their spouses, and my grandchildren in spite of our physical separation. As a result, we are now closer to each other than we have ever been!

We all have our own challenges and weaknesses. Whatever you are going through today, you can be confident that God will graciously help all of His beloved children as we go through our trials and challenges!

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